Fresno County sheriff’s deputies arrested a man Tuesday who allegedly stole valuables – including a championship belt autographed by former professional heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson – during a burglary spree in Friant last month.
Spokesman Tony Botti said that Ramee Ayesh, 29, of Salinas, burglarized two homes and a business in Friant on March 16.
Ayesh first broke into the Millerton Country Store on Auberry Road, Botti said. He checked for cash in the register, found it was empty and left without taking anything. He then broke into a home in the Mira Bella housing development and stole some documents.
Botti said Ayesh then broke into a home in the Brighton Crest development. He stole cash, jewelry, electronics and the autographed belt. The owner considered the belt to be one of a kind, Botti said, and valued it at $15,000.
Botti said the belt once belonged to Mike Tyson, and the victim bought it during a fundraising auction. Tyson then autographed the belt for the victim.
Later that afternoon, a California Highway Patrol officer responded to a crash near Highway 180 and Fulton Street in Fresno. The officer found an abandoned black 2016 Ford Fusion. The car had been stolen from Salinas Valley Ford and contained items from the two residential burglaries and a sales slip from Clovis Gold and Silver jewelry shop.
Sheriff’s detectives determined that the store had bought several of the stolen items from Ayesh, Botti said. The shop also had the title belt, which was being held for appraisal. An employee told detectives she was not aware the items were stolen.
On March 29, investigators contacted Salinas Valley Ford and discovered Ayesh was working there as a salesman. They found Ayesh at the dealership and discovered in his car some of the stolen items and a claim ticket from Clovis Gold and Silver for the title belt, Botti said.
Ayesh was arrested on four felony counts of burglary and two felony counts of possessing stolen property. He has since posted bond and bailed out of jail, Botti said.
The belt and other items were returned to their owners.